Newsletter, April 2017: Balance

In the book “Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense,” Scott McCredie discusses the complex interaction of the visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems. The interplay between these three distinct aspects of our physiology keep us standing, allow us to right ourselves when we trip, and enable us to continue moving forward. If there is a deficiency in one, the other two systems become a little bit stronger to pick up the slack (if possible). For instance, if a person’s vision is impaired, the proprioceptors and the vestibular system become a little bit sharper. 

Balance is an amazing thing. When we maintain work/life balance, we are fulfilled by our work, but have time to embark on family, friends, and creative outlets to keep us harmonized. When we are balanced emotionally, our moods are more steady. There are less outbursts, we are less reactive (but not passive), and our outlook is neither unnaturally optimistic nor pessimistic. When we create a balanced sense of health and well-being, we exercise enough, eat well, sleep enough, and are nurtured spiritually, whatever that word means. We are a physiological system that thrives in balance, always searching for a way to return to homeostasis.

When things are out of balance, we sense a loss of control. Just like the person suffering from vertigo, being out of balance doesn’t make us feel good. The problem with being out of balance is the steps required to return to a state of equilibrium aren’t always clear. It often requires taking a step back to look at things and see what can be realistically changed. Just like being tipped backwards during the Epley maneuver helps restore the position of the crystals in the ear, changing our perspective is often what’s needed to gain clarity. 

In an effort to maintain balance, my husband and I are traveling to Costa Rica at the end of the month for a movement retreat. Experience has taught me that, while it is difficult to not have money coming in for 9 days, stepping away from my everyday life will leave me rejuvenated when I get back. I will be less worn out and more excited about my work. The increased sense of well-being will balance out the revenue I lose by taking a few days off. Strive to create balance.

Upcoming events:

  • Exploring the hips and shoulders, March 25-26, LA, California. Information or to register: 
  • An introduction to handstands, Saturday, May 13, 20, and 27 from 8:30-10AM. This 3 week course will use the principles of the GMB method to develop the strength, mobility, and confidence to practice handstands in the middle of the room. Participants will be given exercises to practice between sessions. Cost: $90 Register:                                                                                            *This course is open to a maximum of 6 students. No drop-ins. Minimum of 2 participants is required. 
  • Nature and Movement retreat, June 2-4 at Mayacamas Lodge in Calistoga, CA. For more information or to register:                                                                                                              *Spots are filling. If you are considering attending, reserve your spot soon. 

Online opportunities:

  • My latest class,”Rolling and Crawling,” is available. The link can be found here:
  • My most recent yoga class on shoulders and wrists is now available in Jenni Rawlings’s library. The link can be found here: (use code BEWELL for one free month of access to all of her offerings).
  • I am thiiiiiis close to uploading all of the content for the online course I have been working on for the last three months: Training individuals with non-specific low back pain. Part lecture, part practical, with quizzes. (It’s the biggest project I have worked on to date, in terms of the amount of content produced. It gives me new-found respect for people that do this all of the time). I should have the link up to purchase in the next week. It will be available for CECs. Cost: $99 until 4/10; $129 after.

Suggested reading:

  • Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense, by Scott McCredie Surprisingly enjoyable. I am not sure how I missed it until now.
  • Making Connections: Total Body Integration through Bertenieff Fundamentals, by Peggy Hackney. This is a wonderful exploration of Laban/Bertenioff Movement. The suggested exercises are interesting, and the explanations were consistent with other techniques I’ve studied.
  • The Champion’s Mind, by Jim Afremow. This is about how to create a winning mindset for physical performance, but could easily be applied to any arena of life.
  • My latest on Breaking Muscle

Wishing everyone a wonderful entrance into spring. Be well.
Jenn Pilotti